Everyone needs to learn social skills. Developing social skills happens over time, and all kids learn by example. Social skills help us to interact with one another and communicate healthily, and these skills include both verbal and non-verbal cues.
For neurodivergent kids and adults, such as those with different learning abilities or those on the spectrum, understanding the complexities of social interaction can be a monumental task. That's because those with developmental delays, autism and other various spectrum disorders oftentimes exist in a self-absorbed environment that's simply not conducive to fine tuning the skills needed to have everyday social interactions. People with neurological differences tend to keep interests that are highly specific and concentrated, but they neglect to invite other people to share in their experiences. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the condition, neurodivergent kids may simply not have the capacity to learn the foundational skills required to understand the nuances of social communication.
Although we all communicate differently and it's important to accept and value divergent thinking, having the foundation for proper social skills is a critical aspect of carrying on successfully through life. Social skills foster relationships and prevent low self-esteem and isolation that's
common in kids with autism and other neurological disorders.
They’re crucial to succeeding in school, keeping a job and actively participating within the community. Good social skills breed confidence and create people who are easy to get along with. Social skills encompass:
- Respect for others and self
- Understanding non-verbal cues
- Expressing feelings
- Conflict resolution
Kids who struggle with social skills may:
- Avoid proper or prolonged eye contact
- Interrupt or talk at length
- Be unable to share a conversation
- Ask inappropriate questions
- Misinterpret non-verbal/facial cues from others
- Fail to understand tone of voice
- Repeat information
- Look away or show little interest while others are talking
- Take things literally
- Fail to engage in imaginative play
- Lack empathy and appear self-centered
- Struggle with jokes
- Over-respond to critique or failure
- Disclose excessive personal information
There are many ways in which you can help your child improve their social skills. Communicating openly and setting an example for good cooperation, listening, manners and other social skills every day will help your kids mimic your examples. Openingly explaining why some things work and others don't will help your children to understand social skills from a practical perspective.We carry a wide range of toys and games geared to help kids of all ages improve their social skills. Our social skills products are great at home or in the classroom, and are suited to all abilities. Kids of all ages will love to play with board games, use flash cards, learn about faces and more. When they're having fun, they're also learning.
Learning new skills in a positive and stress free environment helps kids to succeed.